DAYTONA BEACH, FL — Lee Pulliam tops the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national standings for the third consecutive week but a group of drivers from Kingsport Speedway and Lonesome Pine Raceway, led by Kres VanDyke, are making their presence known.
VanDyke, who won the Tennessee state title last season, gained 35 points on Pulliam’s lead from last week and moved up to second place, 65 points behind the two-time national champion (484-419).
Not only is VanDyke’s move to second place an indicator of his success, but he is joined by four fellow competitors from Tennessee’s Kingsport oval and Lonesome Pine, located in Coeburn, Virginia.
VanDyke picked up his ninth win of the season in 19 starts last weekend at Lonesome Pine while 2010 national champion Keith Rocco moved up to third after scoring his fourth win. David Roberts fell to fourth with Ryan Preece in fifth.
“We got off to a good start this year and I thought we would be in the top five but we had no idea we would get all the way to second place and be able to challenge for the national championship,” VanDyke said. “When I found out we are now second, it just makes me and all the guys on the team want to work that much harder to keep going after that championship.”
Joining VanDyke in the top-10 from the tracks in east Tennessee and nearby southwest Virginia are Wayne Hale and Kyle Barnes, who currently sit in sixth and seventh place, respectively. Barnes also scored a win last weekend at Lonesome Pine, splitting twin 35-lap feature wins with VanDyke.
South Carolina’s Trey Gibson (Anderson and Greenville Pickens Speedways), Virginia drivers Matt Bowling (South Boston, Langley, Motor Mile) and Greg Edwards (Langley) make up the remainder of the top 10.
Ronnie McCarty and Zeke Shell round out the five drivers in the top 12 from Kingsport and Lonesome Pine in the national standings, and VanDyke says the strong showing really says a lot about the level of competition at the two tracks.
“To see that we have five drivers in the top 12 in the national standings really makes me proud to be from this part of the country,” VanDyke added. “It seems most years we read about drivers from other parts of the country listed near the top and to be one of five drivers in this group makes me really happy. We have some great racing up here in this part of the country.”
NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Division I drivers are ranked by their best 18 NASCAR points finishes in series-sanctioned events. Drivers receive two points for every car they finish ahead of – up to 18 cars – and three points for a win, with an additional two points available if the driver starts 10th or lower.
The Whelen All-American Series points season will run through Sunday, Sept. 20.
The top three in the national standings, as well as state and province champions, track champions, top finishers in the Div. II-V and special award winners, will be honored at the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Awards in December.
Established in 1982, the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series is NASCAR’s national championship program for weekly short track auto racing. In all, 58 paved and dirt tracks throughout the United States and Canada participate.
Connecticut-based Whelen Engineering is the series’ title sponsor. Whelen Engineering is a leading manufacturer of automotive, aviation, industrial and emergency vehicle lighting. NASCAR tracks and pace cars across North America are among the many showcases for Whelen products.
-NASCAR Integrated Marketing Communications Press Release. Photo credit: Speed51.com
NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Divsion I Top 25
|1||Lee Pulliam||Langley, S Boston, Caraway, Motor Mile||18||8||17||18||484|
|2||Kres VanDyke||Kingsport, L Pine, Caraway||19||9||16||17||419|
|3||Keith Rocco||Waterford, Thompson, Stafford||12||4||10||12||402|
|4||David Roberts||Greenville, Myrtle, Anderson||19||3||15||18||363|
|5||Ryan Preece||Riverhead, Thompson, Stafford||13||2||9||13||362|
|6||Wayne Hale||L Pine, Kingsport||17||0||11||17||326|
|7||Kyle Barnes||Kingsport, L Pine||13||2||9||13||318|
|8||Trey Gibson||Anderson, Greenville||17||6||13||13||294|
|9||Matt Bowling||S Boston, Langley, Motor Mile||12||1||9||12||287|
|12||Zeke Shell||L Pine, Kingsport||11||1||8||10||263|
|13||Josh Berry||S Boston, Greenville, Motor Mile, Hickory||8||3||8||8||241|
|14||Brenden Queen||S Boston, Langley||12||0||5||10||238|
|15||Mark Wertz||S Boston, Langley||12||1||5||9||235|
|16||Ted Christopher||Waterford, Thompson, Stafford||12||2||5||7||232|
|17||Craig Von Dohren||Grandview||8||1||6||6||229|
|18||Ty Majeski||Lacrosse, New Smyrna||9||1||4||7||223|
|24||Steve Holzkamper(R)||Salina, Flint Creek||10||1||5||7||207|